Part Two of I’ll Never Be today… I wonder who this part is about? You can find Part One here if you care to read it…
I’ll Never Be
Another time, in exactly the same Realm but a slightly different place…
“I will never be like her.”
On another particular day in the Realm, another particular succubi was looking at herself in another mirror. This particular succubi was just turning of age, just beginning to take on more responsibility. Some would say that she was stepping into the role everyone around her said was meant to be hers.
“I will never be like her.” She looked at her raven hair, tugging at a few strands of it. It was never to be that wonderful shade of honey golden blond that she knew so well. She pressed her nose against the mirror and gazed into her own green eyes, then closed them and sighed to herself that they would never be that wonderful blue that she adored.
She did, however, have something that was right: at least her tail and horns were the right colour. At least she had that going for her, if nothing else. It was … something, wasn’t it?
To be honest with herself, she wasn’t completely sure of that. She thumped her forehead against the mirror twice and sighed again. Standing there quietly, she thought about all of the things about herself that weren’t right, how much she tried to do things in just the right way, to do what was expected of her, and how it didn’t seem like enough.
For a moment—just one—she thought about leaving the Realm forever, but then her sense of duty came into play, and she pushed those thoughts from her mind.
“Why not leave? You’re unhappy as anything and, to be honest, I can’t stand it.” She opened her eyes and looked into the mirror to see her Tailself there, looking back, forehead pressed against the mirror as her own was.
“I cannot do such a thing. It would break her heart. It would break his heart. I am …”
“I know who you are. Oh, I know. Do I ever.”
She stepped back from the mirror, but her Tail remained still, her head cocked to the right, with one hand tracing a pattern over the surface of the mirror.
“What do you want? Do you want to be here instead of me?”
Her Tail laughed, oddly: “Oh, no. No thank you. I know her well enough, and she’d be mad as all hell if you weren’t there.”
Her Tail always seemed to know exactly where to push and prod in order to get her attention. So, of course, the next words came unbidden: “How do you know? You have never told me who you are, exactly.” The Tailself in the mirror said nothing, so she continued: “I have known you from the first moment. She knows who you are. Why will you not tell me your name?”
Again nothing, save the tail of the image in the mirror swishing slowly behind her.
The one not in the mirror turned away and stalked over to her bed, falling face down into it, not wanting to continue this argument any more. But in spite of pulling a pillow over her head, when her Tail began to speak, there was no avoiding the words: “I know you want to be like her. But you can’t. You have to make your own way through this world with all of its wonders and terrors. Don’t try to be her, be yourself. You’ll be happier that way. And I won’t have to listen to the self-incriminations in your dreams all night.”
She rolled over and looked at her tail. She looked at the mirror for a long time and wondered about the colour of her other self’s hair and tail: another mystery that had not been revealed, and that bothered her, too. “We all have our burdens to bear.”
“Yours are not burdens. Your problem is that you want to be perfect the way she is. You can’t. You want to do everything like she would. You can’t. When you figure that out and decide to be who you are, that’s going to be the day when everything becomes very clear to you.”
She sat up in bed, putting the pillow on her lap and hugging it: “I want to be like her: perfect.”
Her Tail poked the side of her own head with a finger: “Be perfect in your own way.”
She tilted her head to the left: “What do you mean?”
Her Tail smiled: “Perfection is what you make it. If you are, finally, sure of yourself, then you’ll be perfect … for you. Nothing that anyone else thinks matters.”
She sighed: “What she thinks matters.”
“She loves you. Does anything else matter?”
“To me it does. I worry about disappointing her.”
Her Tailself stepped back from the mirror and began to pace there. She watched this pacing for a while. She wanted to say something, but, every time she started to, her Tail would wave a finger at her and shake her head no. Finally, her Tail spoke again: “The only way you could possibly disappoint her would be to not be who you are. She’d never be happy with you if you weren’t.”
“I am not sure.”
“I am. I’ve known her a lot longer than you.”
She was going to reply to that, but her Tail turned and walked away, disappearing from the mirror and leaving her alone. She buried her lips into the pillow and thought about what her Tail had said.
She did want to be perfect. Isn’t that want she was supposed to be? Isn’t that what she was supposed to do? A sigh escaped her, one of those sighs that if you heard it you would hug her extra tightly. But no one was there to hug her. All she could do was cry a little at just how foolish she felt for wanting what was impossible. She wanted to be perfect, but the perfect she looked for was something she could never have and never would. Then the words of her Tail came again: “If you are, finally, sure of yourself, then you’ll be perfect … for you.”
She looked at the image of herself, raven haired, red tailed, so young and so old at the same moment, the weight of her own uncertainty in her eyes … until she heard the sound of heels clicking on the marble floor of the hallway outside of her room and her breath caught in her throat.
She knew that walk … That sound …